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Mars Team Online QuestChat

Date: September 16, 1998

Featuring: Robert Haberle
Interdisciplinary Scientist
Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

Featured URL: http://www-mgcm. arc.nasa.gov/MGCM.html


Main Room


last read Wed Sep 17 15:52:16 1998

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 4 - 14:36:01 ]
Hello to our early arriving Mars Team Online participants! The Mars Team Online chat with Robert Haberle from NASA Ames Research Center will begin shortly. Be sure you have read Robert's autobiography at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/mars/team/haberle.html before joining this chat. Once the chat begins, Robert will attempt to answer as many of your questions as he can, but please be patient. We are scheduled to have many participants online for today's chat, so we ask that you post one question at a time, and please wait a few minutes before posting new questions. This will greatly help us to keep up with and answer your questions.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 5 - 14:36:47 ]
In the event that we begin to receive too many questions during the chat, the chat will be "moderated." This means that only a few questions will be posted at a time so that Robert can catch up with us. So we again ask that you give Robert time to answer your questions before submitting new ones. As a reminder, remember to enter "Your Handle" in the box provided, before posting questions to the chat room.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 6 - 14:37:34 ]
At the conclusion of today's chat, you will have an opportunity to give us feedback about it. We encourage you to take a few minutes to share your thoughts with us by responding to our QuestChat Feedback survey at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/qchats/qchat-surveys. Your responses, comments and suggestions will help us with future chats. We hope to hear from you!

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 7 - 14:57:30 ]
Hello and welcome to today's Mars Team Online chat with Robert Haberle from NASA Ames Research Center! Robert studies the atmospheres of planets in our solar system (particularly Mars) and helps NASA plan for future missions. He has analyzed data returned from the Mars spacecraft, and has used the data to create simulations he and his colleagues have developed. Bob's work helps us understand the weather and climate of Mars and why is is so different from Earth.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 8 - 14:57:52 ]
And now, here is Robert Haberle to answer your questions.

[ Matt - 10 - 14:58:05 ]
Hello, I am here and ready!

[ RobertHaberle/ARC - 13 - 14:59:06 ]
RE: [Candace] What is the apnesphere of mars in comparasin to earth?
Candace, Its made of CO2 gas and its very thin.

[ RobertHaberle/ARC - 14 - 14:59:43 ]
RE: [Steve] Good afternoon Mr. Haberle. What was your M.O.S. in the Army?
Steve, 11B40 - Infantry

[ RobertHaberle/ARC - 16 - 15:00:56 ]
RE: [Emmy] Hi! What careers or training do I need to be chosen to go on the mission to Mars? What college do you suggest going to? What high school and college courses do you recommend?
Emmy, Take lots of Math and Science. Stay fit. There are many good technical colleges to choose from.

[ RobertHaberle/ARC - 18 - 15:01:52 ]
RE: [Matt] What is in Mars' atmoshere?
Matt, CO2 gas and dust. There is also some water vapor and other gases, but these are very minor components.

[ RobertHaberle/ARC - 22 - 15:03:24 ]
RE: [Matt] What are you opions on the question about teraforming a planet? Is that a possible thing?
Matt, In my opinion, we should leave Mars alone and not try to change it. Its a matter of ethics in my view. However, terraforming can be a very exciting academic exercise. Personally, I don't think its possible. You got to live with what it is.

[ RobertHaberle/ARC - 23 - 15:05:21 ]
RE: [Stephanie/Edmonton] What colors would the elements of Mars' atmosphere be if it were taken by a spectrometer. In other words, what spectrum are they in?
Stephanie, The spectrum of Mars has many colors. The atmosphere in the visible is generally reddish.

[ RobertHaberle/ARC - 26 - 15:07:57 ]
RE: [mEmmy/TriValle] What careers or training do I need to be chosen to go on the mission to Mars? What college do you suggest? What college and high school courses do you recommend?
Emme, If you want to go to Mars, take lots of math and science and keep yourself in good shape. Learn how to fly and airplane. Try to become a NASA astronaut.

[ RobertHaberle/ARC - 27 - 15:08:31 ]
RE: [Stephanie/Edmonton] What was learned in the short science operations period?
Stephanie, Are you talking about Pathfinder?

[ RobertHaberle/ARC - 30 - 15:11:02 ]
RE: [Candace] When is the first trip to mars scheuled for? i heard it was in 2000 sometime...and would take 3 years. can you give any clairification
Candace, There is no firm schedule for the first trip to Mars. For planning purposes, we are considering the 2010-2020 time frame as a possibility. It is a very expensive thing to do and nobody has signed up to pay for it yet.

[ RobertHaberle/ARC - 32 - 15:13:02 ]
RE: [Stephanie/Edmonton] No, I mean MGS. Were there any significant science results learned during the aerobraking halt?
Stephanie, Yes, there was a lot of data taken during the recent period of no aerobraking. Pictures, spectra, topographic data, and radio occultations. All are being analysed. We are hoping to resume aerobraking any day now to get to the mapping orbit in February.

[ RobertHaberle/ARC - 34 - 15:14:36 ]
RE: [Emmy] When will the human mission to Mars take place?
Emmy, The first human mission to Mars will not occur before the year 2010 and it is my guess that it won't occur until later than that. But is just a guess. It all depends on how it can be paid for.

[ RobertHaberle/ARC - 36 - 15:16:31 ]
RE: [Stephanie/Edmonton] How is the Climate Orbiter different from Global Surveyor?
Stephanie, The climate orbiter carries a payload that emphasizes atmospheric studies, while the global surveyor's paylaod is more focused on surface studies. Together they gives us a good picture of Mars globally and seasonally.

[ RobertHaberle/ARC - 38 - 15:17:49 ]
RE: [Stephanie/Edmonton] In what season are are the dust storms the strongest? What season is Mars in now?
Stephanie, Dust storms are strongest during the northern winter season. Right now its early spring. By the time MGS gets into its mapping orbit summer will be starting.

[ RobertHaberle/ARC - 39 - 15:19:38 ]
RE: [Candace/Canada] interesting. You said the atmosphere is made of carbon dioxide...is there any life? or simply rock
That is the 64,000 dollar question. Most people believe that Mars today has no life. But it might have had life very early in its history (say 3.5 billion years ago). So a lot of effort is being put into ways to find evidence for such an early biota.

[ RobertHaberle/ARC - 42 - 15:22:01 ]
RE: [Candace/Canada] Space is an amazing new frontier....it's sad that no one will pay for something worth wile VS. more warheads. Anyway, what would be expected for the surface of mars? ..if we ever get there...
I agree. Once we do get there, the surface will be rocks and sand and dust. No vegetation, no lakes, no freeways, no nothing. Just vast expanses of rocks, canyons, volcanoes, sand dunes, dust, etc.

[ RobertHaberle/ARC - 44 - 15:23:09 ]
RE: [Stephanie/Edmonton] I'm always hearing about Elysium Mons. Is anything particularly special about it?
Not that I'm aware of. Just another volcano.

[ RobertHaberle/ARC - 46 - 15:24:03 ]
RE: [Stephanie/Edmonton] Candace, I agree with you. Where in Canada are you from?
Actaully, I'm a Califonia native. But I do enjoy visiting Canada (BC mostly).

[ RobertHaberle/ARC - 48 - 15:25:33 ]
RE: [Emmy] Do you think there are any fossils of organic lifeforms on Mars?
Tough question. My guess is there are no fossils and no organic life forms. But I can't be sure. I've always felt that if life did get started on Mars, then is should still be there. But we don't see it.

[ RobertHaberle/ARC - 49 - 15:26:13 ]
RE: [Candace/Canada] New Brunswick Stephanie
Cool.

[ RobertHaberle/ARC - 54 - 15:31:53 ]
RE: [Stephanie/Edmonton] Has the 2001 rover been cancelled or just made more like Sojourner. In the Cornell webpage, it talks about the APEX science instrument; Athena, now for the 2003 mission.
Still being worked out. But Athena is definetly not flying in 01. Right now there is restructuring of the Mars Surveyor program going on and it will impact the 01 opportunity and beyond. But there is an effort being made to try to have some mobile capability in 01.

[ RobertHaberle/ARC - 56 - 15:32:45 ]
RE: [Candace/Canada-Candace/HighSchool] I know this sint Mars related, but i have to do a project on astrophysics....can you tell me anything about it>
I was trained in atmospheric sciences so I'm probably not the one to talk to.

[ RobertHaberle/ARC - 57 - 15:34:13 ]
RE: [Stephanie/Edmonton] What is Mars' atmospheric drag where compared to Earth's?
It depends on what altitude you are at in the atmosphere. The drag can be larger or smaller, just depends on where you are.

[ RobertHaberle/ARC - 59 - 15:37:19 ]
RE: [Stephanie/Edmonton] Will you be analyzing the results when the Polar lander's microprobes slam into Mars?
I was on the science advisory team for the polar landers and manged to get them to put on a pressure sensor. But just recently that had to take it off so there isn't going to be much science data returned from the microprobes in the 98 opportunity. Its more of a technology demonstration - can we hit the ground going 1000's of mph and still survivie? Stay tuned ........

[ RobertHaberle/ARC - 63 - 15:39:09 ]
RE: [Jay-Pilot/CountyHighSchool] I am doing a project on can you tell me about it surface.
The surface is generally rocks and sand. There are volcanoes and canyons and stuff like that, but no tree's no big mountains.

[ RobertHaberle/ARC - 67 - 15:40:46 ]
RE: [Stephanie/Edmonton] Say, if you compare the atmospheric drag to the altitude where the shuttle begins reentry and lands....how would the tiles be affected if it was reentering on Mars instead of Earth?
The shuttle would have the same reentry concerns on Mars as it would on Earth. Even though its thin, the Martian atmosphere can impose a lot of drag. That's what MGS is banking on.

[ RobertHaberle/ARC - 69 - 15:41:35 ]
RE: [Candace/Canada-Candace/HighSchool] I just want to say thanks for taking your time to come chat with us robert...much appreciated
Thank you Candace. It was fun!

[ RobertHaberle/ARC - 71 - 15:42:41 ]
RE: [Jay-Pilot/CountyHighSchool] What is the atmosphere like on Mars
Thin, by comparison to Earth. Made most of CO2 gas, very little oxygen, water vapor. Surface pressure about 7 mb compared to 1013 mb here on Earth. So bring your space suit and don't get out of it.

[ RobertHaberle/ARC - 75 - 15:44:02 ]
RE: [Stephanie/Edmonton] I have heard of a problem with MGS aerobraking because the solar panels are facing the atmosphere.
One of the panels broke at the hinge so instead of aerobraking at 100 km they are trying it at 120 km where the air is alittle thinner and wont' deflect to panel too much. We don't want to loose the panels!

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 76 - 15:44:14 ]
At the conclusion of the chat, please let us know what you thought about it by using our chat feedback forms at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/qchats/qchat-surveys

[ RobertHaberle/ARC - 80 - 15:46:12 ]
RE: [Candace-Candace/HighSchool] whats the gravity like?
About 1/3 that on earth.

[ RobertHaberle/ARC - 81 - 15:46:39 ]
RE: [Tal-00000000] Is there a life on Mars ?
Probably not.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 82 - 15:47:31 ]
As Robert answers final questions, we would like to thank everyone for joining us today. Again, please share your thoughts about today's chat with us at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/qchats/qchat-surveys.

[ RobertHaberle/ARC - 83 - 15:47:43 ]
RE: [Stephanie/Edmonton] Definitely not! :) Are any decisions being changed about keeping MGS's antenna in the stowed position, just in case the Polar lander needs it as a relay?
Eventually we will deploy the high gain antenna. The decision is when. Might be a while.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 84 - 15:48:04 ]
A special thanks to Robert Haberle from NASA Ames Research Center for joining us for today's Mars Team Online chat.

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 85 - 15:49:24 ]
We invite you to visit our schedule of events page at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/common/events to find out about upcoming chats with other NASA experts.

[ Matt - 28 - 15:09:32 ]
it was great fun talking to you. good luck

[ Emmy/TriValle-mEmmy/TriValle - 68 - 15:41:23 ]
It's been nice talking to you but I have to go. Thank you!

[ Candace/HighSchool-Candace/HighSchool - 74 - 15:43:47 ]
NASA is amazing, and I truly hope that It's work will continue. Bye everyone. See you next time

[ Stephanie/Edmonton - 87 - 15:50:00 ]
Thank you Robert and Oran. I learned a lot about the atmosphere!

[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 86 - 15:49:52 ]
Thank you again for joining us today.


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